WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Taming Oceanview and the big City Council Reveal!

No shoulders, no room for error if you’re walking or riding a bike.

Agate Beach: Still no real shoulders or walking surface except on the pavement.

South of Agate Beach it gets scary. Facing traffic is the only way to walk on Oceanview…

Those curves are blind and you gotta be quick on your feet.

Newport City Councilors say that after a field trip to scenic-rich Oceanview Avenue by some council members and city staff, they totally “get it” about people who say you take your life in your hands if you bicycle Oceanview Drive, or in your feet if you walk it from Highway 101 north clear down to NW 15th. It’s beautiful, but it feels deadly dangerous when cars and trucks whiz by just 1 to 2 feet away, depending in how much road shoulder you don’t have.

As we reported to you last week, there are those who want to make Oceanview the sparkling scenic gem that it is, paralleling the beach all the way down to Nye Beach. To make Oceanview Drive more hospitable, some on the council and some folks around town want to make Oceanview one-way with vehicles in one lane and pedestrians and bicyclists in the other.

But then they got a reality check from city staff as to how much all that would cost and how difficult it might be to get that passed ODOT and a lot residents that live up that way.

So, as the discussions went on, it appeared that the council will settle for a less ambitious “re-do” of Oceanview. City Public Works Director Tim Gross said they could fortify the shoulders with better gravel for better footing, trim a lot of brush that hangs out into the right of way, paint a fog line on both outer edges of the pavement (a trick to slow drivers down), signs that say “Watch For Pedestrians,” and maybe even toy with a slight lowering of the speed limit down to 30 but a slower speed limit doesn’t seem too likely.

Click here for details

So, they settled for the easy stuff as mentioned above. City Manager Spencer Nebel said he’ll draw up a plan to begin taming Oceanview from the top of the run from 101 all the way down to Nye Beach. Nebel will work up a project plan with Mr. Gross and present a plan to the council at their next meeting. Nebel said just the four recommendations might do the trick. If not, they can start saving up for more bold modifications including making it one-way (probably south), with vehicles in one lane and bikes and walkers/runners in the other with a reduced speed limit. Obviously, to be continued!

And the City Council will be returning to TV and computer screens world-wide in the near future. The council voted unanimously to install some of the latest high-tech video equipment to broadcast meetings at City Hall around the world and around the block – around the world on the internet – around the block on local Charter cable TV.

In the past the council had Toledo High School teacher Peter Vince and his students video record the meetings for later playback, but Mr. Vince retired some time back and the TV taping stopped. Those wishing to hear the council meetings unfold “au natural” can still hear the meetings on the city’s website but it’s delayed at least a few hours.

But that’s going to go by the wayside because the council voted to spend nearly $160,000 for LIVE TV and internet coverage of city council meetings as well as other committees that are always discussing everything that the city’s up to.

No word yet on when they’ll go live. When we find out, we’ll let ya know right away.

Click here for details

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